Are you staring at yourself on Zoom? New survey asks the WFH question of our times

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In the remote work era, Zoom calls have replaced traditional in-person meetings. A new survey focuses on Zoom burnout, “excessive” eye contact during video calls and more.

Image: iStock/fizkes

More than one year after the first U.S. COVID-19 cases, organizations around the globe continue to operate remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic. To enable virtual collaboration, teams are using a wide range of tools such as video conferencing and messenger services. With round-the-clock Zoom meetings replacing traditional face-to-face affairs, screentime burnout has led to all-new terms; hence the coining of so-called Zoom fatigue.

Earlier this month, Blind, an anonymous network for professionals, featured a pop-up poll to better understand video chat burnout one year into remote work at-scale. The poll also included questions related to “excessive” eye contact during video calls and inquired about where one’s gaze focused on-screen. We’ve detailed these key findings below.

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Employees chime in on Zoom burnout

Overall, the Blind survey ran from March 1 to March 4. Among 2,340 respondents, more than three-quarters (77%) said that Zoom meetings were tiring them out. As part of Blind’s anonymous setup, Blind users are able to identify their employers. This means pop-up poll results can be parsed out across sectors and employers.

All of the 10 Nutanix respondents said Zoom calls were tiring them out, followed by 95% eBay employees and 93% of Mailchimp professionals with 19 and 15 respondents, respectively. Dell (92%) and VMware (90%) rounded out the top five with 12 and 29 respondents, respectively.

“Excessive” eye contact on Zoom calls?

The second survey question asked people whether they felt as though their “coworkers give excessive eye contact during Zoom calls.” Among 2,025 respondents, nearly one-quarter of respondents agreed although the vast majority (76%) did not feel as though coworkers gave excessive amounts of eye contact during these video calls.

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Nearly half (46%) of the 13 Autodesk respondents felt as though coworkers presented excessive eye contact on Zoom calls followed by 36% of the 14 SAP respondents. One-third (33%) of Intuit and Cisco employees agreed with 27 and 21 respondents, respectively.

Are you staring at yourself on Zoom?

Among 1,996 respondents, nearly three-quarters (70%) said they stare at themselves on Zoom calls. Nearly nine-in-10 (87%) of the 15 Bloomberg employees responded affirmatively followed by 80% of the 10 Dell respondents. 

More than half (56%) of the VMware employees and eBay said they did not self-stare during Zoom calls with 25 and 16 respondents, respectively. Half of the 20 Intel employees and 47% of Workday employees similarly said they did not stare at themselves during these calls. 

Feel free to peruse the full Blind survey dataset here.

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